The Delano's Florida Room snubs two gays without women

Mark Poutenis
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When navigating the most elitist nooks of South Beach clubland, it helps to have breasts. Not necessarily on your own body either. Just in your presence, nearby — bouncing against your arm if possible — and the chances of getting past the doorman officially quadruple.

Blair Russell, a gay 47-year-old, long ago learned this little trick. He has lived in South Beach for 21 years and didn't think much of it until a couple of Tuesdays ago.

A dapper fellow and a big spender, if he does say so himself, Blair began the night with a steak dinner. Afterward, he and a male companion arrived at the Delano Hotel's Florida Room, an opulent 1920s-style piano bar designed by Lenny Kravitz. They wore thousand-dollar suits and "were all dolled up."

At the door, the bouncer sized him up and scoffed, Blair claims, and then explained he wouldn't be admitted without a woman on his arm. They could either pay $300 for a private table or leave. Inside, there were ten women to every man.

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"Other guys were walking right in with two girls — or probably two whores," he sasses. "I was, like, What?"

The rule itself isn't shocking — most clubs want high female-to-male ratios — but Blair is irked about the bigger implications. The policy is like mandating separate water fountains in the South, he says: It encourages gay-straight segregation. "We call 'em breeder bars," he quips.

Alan Roth, who hosts the Tuesday-night party, contends, "Any guest that gets past the velvet ropes knows we don't discriminate and we welcome a diverse crowd." He cordially invited Riptide to come see.

But, to be fair, that would only increase the number of boobs in the room.

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